Druckansicht der Internetadresse:

Population Ecology (Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar)

Print page

Team > M. Sc. Melvin Opolka

Overview
Overview
opolka M. Sc. Melvin Opolka
opolka

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences
Population Ecology


Doctoral student

Research project: Developing a European-level Monitoring strategy for mound-building Formica Ants and symbiont communities residing in nest mounds

Mound-building Formica ants (MBFs) are key species in temperate and boreal forests as well as natural grasslands. They provide important ecosystem functions and host numerous arthropods, known as myrmecophiles. Evidence suggests local declines or extinctions of these ants due to habitat fragmentation, climate change, altered management, and intensified land use. However, the overall population trends and threat status of these ants and their myrmecophiles in Europe are unknown, mainly due to a lack of unified monitoring strategies and differing protection status evaluations across the EU.

My project compares existing monitoring strategies from citizen science projects and other monitoring programs. By consolidating existing data, stakeholders will be informed about the status of MBFs on a transnational level. As part of MonitAnt, a new international monitoring strategy will be developed and validated in various forest and grassland habitats, considering management practices and large latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. In the process, baseline data and samples of MBFs and associated species will be collected.

In my project, I will test the developed monitoring strategy in several areas in Bavaria, collecting baseline data and samples of MBFs and associated species. This will help determine the minimum sizes and characteristics of areas necessary for viable populations. I will also develop an app for citizen scientists to collect large-scale data on the distribution of MBFs, enabling analysis of extensive areas and identification of general development trends. Additionally, I will employ modern methods to study fungi, pathogens, and the genetics of the ants and their myrmecophiles. With this, I want to enhance our understanding of the ecology of MBFs and their interactions with the environment.

MonitAnt and Biodiversa+

DFG


MonitAnt QR Code

opolka

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences
Population Ecology


M. Sc. Melvin Opolka
Doctoral student

Animal Ecology I - Population Ecology
Building NW I, Room 5.0 01 06
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstr. 30
95447 Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921 55 2646
Fax: +49 (0) 921 55 2784

E-mail: Melvin.Opolka@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Univ. Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar

UBT-A Contact